Monday, June 3, 2013

Differing policies on children, and the politics of each state.

People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” -Vincent DiCaro

Professor Althouse, on marriage, mentions if anyone was to change their mind on it today, it would be for shallow reasons. Everyone jumping the on the bandwagon. Not out of any particular public policy reason, but for the emotional tactic of 'being on the wrong side of history' or fear of being labeled a bigot for not having the "=" sign logo on my Facebook logo. I'm stuck with an unpopular stance, even though it has merit.

The arguments are never seen, or suppressed out of fear of being unpopular. Rarely spoken, are the merits of marriage public policy, only found in long policy briefs that only a handful of people will read. Maybe only seen in passing in a newspaper, "Fathers disappear from households across America" (Washington Times (2012), which many Americans do not read the news, beyond a salacious headline of some other news story. Will a story on fatherless homes ever go viral?

Recently I posted on Rhode Island ignoring the facts of the children within the state. It clearly stated in a public policy brief, from Kids Count, the mothers on the lower income end, do much better if they married the biological father of her children. Despite just recently changing it's definition of marriage, it did little over the past decade to do anything about the fragmentation of the family.

Vermont, which has civil unions since 2000, and recently changed it over to marriage, addresses public policy differently. While Vermont and Rhode Island, are small, both with declining population, from New England and liberal, being from Massachusetts the two states are very different in political culture. Also different in demographics, differences in ethnic and economic diversities. I would prefer the ocean, over skiing, but I would choose Vermont over Rhode Island to live politically. Massachusetts is a blend of these two states.

In the Washington Times article linked above, it mentioned marriage rates of minorities. "In all states but Rhode Island and Massachusetts, most Hispanic children do" (live with their mom and dad). Vermont and Maine do not have large minority populations, but for whites, the marriage rates are the lowest in the nation. (Lifesite News 2013)

In Vermont, they have created their own Fatherhood Initiative Commission in 2011, and will have a major event on Fatherhood next week.

"“I know how important fathers can be and how hard it is when children don’t have a positive father figure in their lives,” he said in an email interview. “As a legislator on the House Human Services Committee, I am always looking for ways to help families and children thrive. Promoting responsible fathering is one such way.” (Burlington Press 2011)
Vermont also has a fatherhood guide, and at times are not afraid to use the word father and marriage together. Also in my post last Friday, they have no problem addressing the issues 'for homes that have the characteristics of having children', which is a fancy name for a heterosexual couple married with children.

Rhode Island and Vermont are different. One of the major differences is corruption. Rhode Island is corrupt. (Daily Beast 2010)

"Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Providence's longest-serving mayor, is the most prominent example for outsiders. He returned to the state in May 2007, after serving more than four years in a federal prison for a racketeering-conspiracy conviction (in other words, running a criminal enterprise out of City Hall."
Rhode Island economic gap between rich and poor is wide. Mansions and yachts on the ocean, poor minority immigrants in the the city of Providence. Vermont, at least, is just plain poor. Which is actually a positive for the state, in terms of political culture, very little to corrupt other the ice cream and teddy bears.

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” –SIGMUND FREUD

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